The cafeteria (courtesy of Slanted Door’s Charles Phan) and restaurant (courtesy of Bizou and Coco500’s Loretta Keller) at the California Academy of Sciences are as popular and crowded as the Renzo Piano-designed museum itself, hounds say.

Claudette was able to squeeze into the Moss Room restaurant, and says the room is lovely: moss covers one wall, lights dot another, and there’s a glass-walled private room for 14 in one corner.

The sustainable catch of the day, black cod, is moist and silky, paired with perfect tiny tomatoes and haricots verts. At $20, it’s a way better bet than the mediocre $17 spaghetti and meatballs. Chicken looks great, with “crispy skin and potatoes.” Other choices include sweetbreads, country pâté, steak, and scallops. Desserts are also tempting, with Dagoba Chocolate Torte with malted cream and fleur de sel, and Bellwether Farms Fromage Blanc cheesecake with poached Williams pear. There’s an artisanal cheese plate with date mousse and homemade bread. So far, they only serve lunch.

Over at the Academy Cafe, there is an array of stations with different international foods: slow-cooked, noodles, sandwich, salad, steamed, bakery. There’s slow-cooked lamb tajine and pumpkin stew; almond butter, turkey or hummus sandwiches; pork tacos; steamed chicken or veggie buns; and ice cream sandwiches of chocolate cookie with vanilla ice cream, and what looks like ginger cookie with vanilla. There’s also a coffee bar. Most entrées are $8–10, with a side of brown rice or a steamed bun for $3. Ice cream sandwiches are $5.

There are a couple of cash-only stands out front serving ready-made salads, sandwiches, and drinks; hhc was not impressed by a meager serving of soup and “average” Caesar salad.

The Moss Room [Golden Gate Park]
The California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco

Academy Cafe [Golden Gate Park]
The California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Drive, San Francisco

Board Links: Cal Academy: The Moss Room
NEW: Calif. Academy of Science, SF–Did u fight the crowds & eat there–The Piazza/ Cafe/ Moss Room? Short report w/ pics

See more articles